“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”
That’s a Chasen Bradford tweet I found as I searched to find something about the B-Mets’ relief pitcher. I was curious to know whether Bradford was talking about the cards he was dealt, a 35th round draft pick by the Mets in 2011, or just life’s cards folks are dealt in general. Whatever cards Bradford was dealt he’s playing them with a deft hand this summer in Binghamton.
Bradford pitched for the Gators of Central Florida in college where command issues clouded his future baseball potential. The 6’1” righthander went 17-7 during his stay as a Gator earning 5 saves but too many free passes and a high WHIP left unanswered questions.
After originally failing to make the squad out of spring training for Savannah in 2012, Bradford fought his way back on the roster and had a solid season as a Sand Gnat. Bradford worked entirely in relief making 37 appearances with a 2.47 ERA and a 1.118 WHIP and has been turning heads ever since.
St. Lucie was next up for the Met prospect this spring. Bradford shined in 30 relief appearances going 6-2 with 3 saves that earned a promotion to Binghamton. Bradford’s command issues seem to be a thing of the past as he fanned 43 batters while walking only 9 in St. Lucie.
Bradford has been undaunted with the fabled jump to the Double-A level, pitching lights out in 16 appearances as a B-Met thus far. The right-handed set up man has a 3-1 record with a minuscule 0.46 ERA and a flashy 0.966 WHIP. With Jeff Walter’s the King of Saves in all of minor league baseball, Bradford doesn’t get much of a chance to close a contest although he did pick up his first Double-A save over the weekend.
I got an opportunity to watch Bradford in two outings during the current B-Met homestand. The Binghamton reliever threw one inning of scoreless relief in the B-Mets 1-0 victory over New Britain on Friday and picked up a victory in relief Monday night with a second scoreless inning when Binghamton topped Bowie, 3-2.
Scoreless relief outings are nothing new for Bradford this summer. In fact, Bradford has not surrendered a run out the Binghamton pen since July 12th.
Bradford throws a fastball that regularly registered at 90-92 mph with off-speed pitch selections to compliment his quick stuff. A high 70’s breaking pitch was very effective for Bradford in the games I observed.
With names like Syndergaard, Verrett, Goedell, Gorski, Kolarek, Huchingson and Walters headlining a potent B-Met pitching staff, it would be easy to lose a guy like Chasen Bradford in the shuffle. That would be to overlook a trump card in the Binghamton pitching card deck.
@MetsMerized blessed to be here and blessed to have such an amazing opportunity with such a awesome group of guys.
— Chasen Bradford (@cbBaseball29) August 17, 2013